It’s the Little Things [Wedding Wednesday]

I’M BACK!

Holy busy, Batman. This summer. THIS SUMMER, Y’ALL. It came, I had fun pretending to not be in school, and then all of a sudden I got full on t-boned by a semi truck. Not literally. But in this figurative story, that semi is named “Graduate School” and it hits like a ton of bricks. So not fun. I mean, exciting, but let’s be honest; would you like to graduate, get engaged, and then go right back to school while trying to enjoy planning a wedding and really not wanting to have homework?

No. Didn’t think so.

So, to make a long story a little bit shorter, I enjoyed my summer (most of it), and now it’s gone. All within a rapid succession of three weeks. I’ve been in school for THREE WEEKS already. How ridiculous is that? I’m a student once more (and full-time employee, and engaged girl planning her wedding…) and I’m already looking forward to December of 2015 when I graduate for real. Forever. For-ev-er.

Now that I’ve gotten that little spiel out of the way, let’s move on to the fun stuff…

I’M GETTING MARRIED IN A YEAR! WEDDING! PARTY! YAY!

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I’m so beyond excited, and since I last graced my beautiful blog, well…not much has happened. Zach and I can’t put an exact date down until late November-early December due to work schedules, and I can’t say I’m all too happy about that. In fact, it’s pretty easy to say I hate it. I. Hate. It. I can’t put down any concrete plans for anything right now (with a few exceptions…) and that bothers me more than you would think.

I think that’s what being engaged really means to me. It’s the part of a new sidewalk where you’ve already thought about it, and you’re pouring the concrete into the frame. Zach and I are sure of this sidewalk, and we’ve got all the basic wood planks laid out on the confines of our sidewalk, but that concrete is not coming down the chute fast enough. It’s trickling, and I was really excited for the downpour of concrete. Something we can put our handprints on when it’s all laying there. I know it’s coming, but I’m impatient and not sorry about it!

Although I can’t put many concrete details down just yet, we did find an AMAZING photographer and we have our engagement session scheduled for my birthday in October! I am thrilled with the photographer and her work (and her prices!), and you all can look forward to a spattering of our mugs all over this little corner of the ‘web come mid-October. That little detail made me more excited than I thought it would, but it satiated the planner in me. Next Friday, we’re touring our first venue, too! I love the space, but we also have two other venues we’ll be looking through, and they all are strong contenders. It may just come down to whoever still has availability on our date come winter!

Since I can’t really do the concrete planning right this second (even though I am literally twitching from planning-desires), I decided to throw together a couple of Google docs so that I could be better prepared as we get further into this planning scheme. The first doc I decided to make was one for the two budgets. My mom and dad are pitching in a significant amount (mostly because they want to party!), and then Zach and I will be paying for some of the details on our own.

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This is the budget I have set up for my parents. I just wanted something simple that I could plug a number in to and have the rest of the information update as I go along. Google docs was the obvious choice because I can update on my phone or tablet while still with a vendor or while on the phone! (No, I was not compensated at all to do this post, but Google can choose to do so if they so please!).

It was really simple (even for those of you who are not so spreadsheet-savvy). Here’s how I broke it down:

[one] Make sure to check out lists, websites, wedding planning books, friends, and your own brain to get a detailed list of where all of your expenses lie. Figure out what category they fall under, and then choose what percentage of the budget you want them to encompass.

[two] In the first column, two rows down, start your list. Make an overarching “umbrella” category for each individual cost. See that ceremony umbrella? Do that. Under each category, list the individual costs. Repeat for each category.

[three] I then went through and added columns for the estimated expense (based on my percent allotted), actual expense, and the difference between the two (to see if I could re-allot any of my budget). I then added more columns pertaining to the vendor for each item, their contact info, the amount I’ve paid, the amount I still owe, and when it’s due.

[four] Sit back and easily become obsessed with making these little charts for everything.

This is literally it. It was the easiest budgeting tool ever, and it was free! I love that I can adapt everything and change whatever I so please to change. because, let’s be honest, I’ll probably change a lot in the next year!

I also went ahead and made myself a monthly timeline for the things I think I need to complete. I know you see these in magazines left and right, but I think it’s important to personalize it. Each bride has different needs and different timelines; it’s important to change your planning tools to fit your journey! The Google doc was really boring, so I’ll spare you the screenshot. Instead, here’s a puppy:

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So, seeing as it’s the beginning of the month anyways, and I honestly don’t see any additional goals being achieved, here are my September Wedding Goals.

September Wedding Goals

[one] Get engagement ring insured

[two] Figure out a beauty regimen

[three] Get new gym membership with Zach

[four] Finish making venue appointments

[five] Visit venues: take notes, take pictures, and ask every single question in my mind

There you have it! Thanks for keeping up with my less-than-sporadic blogging the past three months. Hopefully with the new schedule slowing down I will finally be able to get back here with all the posts I had planned in May!

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Time for Some Updates

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So, Christmas is done…and the New Year has started…when did that happen again?! I completely disappeared from all things social media, and I’m so glad I did. I got to take a wonderful break, spend all of my time with the people I love, and I just overall had an amazing week! I’m truly sad to see it go. Zach and I started our Christmas almost a month ago thanks to my huge family, so after six family gatherings, we were more than ready to take a break. Since we aren’t engaged, we still like to take time on Christmas Day to relax with our own families and spend time enjoying the traditions that we already have in our lives. We have our own Christmas tradition of staying up late Christmas Eve and opening our gifts to each other at midnight, and I love it! I love making traditions of our own.

On Christmas morning, I headed over to my parents’ home in my footie pajamas, snuggled into my favorite chair, and enjoyed spending time with my loved ones.

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(In case you couldn’t tell, my wonderful parents, shown here, surprised me with an amazing new DSLR!) After presents, a rallying game of Monopoly, and a marathon of Spaghetti Westerns, I headed home to Zach, and proceeded to sleep for fourteen hours. No joke. I guess you could say it’s been a busy, stressful semester! I so needed this break to restart myself and get into the groove of some new routines.

Beginning this Monday, I am starting back at work and beginning my new schedule, which means it’s time to figure out where the things I want to do can mesh with the things I need to do. As a goal for my entire year (not a resolution, a goal), I am going to set some easy but useful goals for myself each month! Goals seem to inspire me to do the things I want – and should – do, so I think it’s the best way to start this new, blank year.

January Goals:

Stay on track for the new budget (envelope system, here I go!)

Find time to work in at least 4 workouts a week, at home or the gym

Write at least 4 letters this month, and plan to continue this each month

Figure out the bookshelf situation (future blog post about this organizational hazard!)

Read one leisure book (post-break book, during the semester)

Stay on top of all assignments/classes/reading for the month, and keep it up!

Cook two dinners a week for the family, Mom deserves a break

Blog 3 times a week (shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, was doing it already!)

I’m so excited to start a new year and to experience all of the adventures that will come with it; graduation, jobs, graduate school, and moving back out on my own are on the (very close) horizon, and I couldn’t be more ready! The start of a new year brings with it so many demands of bettering your life in health and mentality, and I think that it’s a great start, but don’t let it intimidate you any more than starting a new routine mid-October. Find a way to make this new year about learning, experiencing, loving, and having fun!

Have you made a list of any goals for the month or year? I’d love to hear about them!